Adie Maki is starting to get into the swing of school. As for golf, yeah, she’s had that figured out for some time now despite a late start on the links. The Skyline junior swung her way into Friday’s state finals when she fired a 79 at last week’s Regionals at Lake Forest Golf Club.
The top three players from teams that don’t qualify also earn a trip to the state finals. And Maki was at the top of the scorecard.
But let’s tee off this story in the classroom – well, the computer.
“I’m starting to get used to being online and doing schoolwork from home,” says Maki, who has always been an outstanding student (3.88 GPA). “It definitely took some time to get used to, and I still miss being at school and seeing my friends every day in person.”
She says the biggest challenge with online school is staying organized. “It can be hard to keep track of when all your assignments are due, so it’s important to have a good organization system,” she says.
She stays quite organized out on the golf course. It’s easy to be organized when you are on the fairway and in the middle of the green – two places Maki is quite familiar with.
Maki is spending this week getting ready to tee it up with the best in the state at Forest Akers East. “My goal for the state finals is to stay focused and make a bunch of threes,” she says. “There will be a lot of talented golfers playing in the field, so it will take some really strong play to place well.”
Maki is a consistent player – something that isn’t easy – and has a strong short game. “I spend a lot of time on practicing my short game,” she says. “I think this is one of the most important parts of the game. This is what makes or breaks your score. I’m always trying to improve with all aspects of my game.”
She practices at Fox Hills Golf Course in Plymouth and takes lessons from Brian Cairns at Fox Hills. “He has helped me a lot with improving my swing, short game, and confidence on the course,” she says.
Maki, the daughter of Russell Maki and Angela McFarlin, started playing golf only three years ago after being a competitive swimmer for most of her young life.
“Four years ago, I experienced an injury in both of my knees,” she said. “After a lot of physical therapy, I made the difficult decision to stop swimming as it hurt too much to continue with the sport. Swimming was a big part of my life, it was really all I knew. I wasn’t sure what to do after my injury.”
So looked for an answer at home.
“My dad and brother had always been really into golf and they encouraged me to pick it up,” she said. “I was very reluctant because I thought that golf was boring and that I would never like it. My parents finally convinced me to try taking golf lessons in 2017. I’m so thankful they did because without them, I wouldn’t have found this amazing sport that I love.”
As everyone who has ever picked up a golf club will tell you, golf is as fun as it is frustrating. It’s how one deals with those frustrations that is often the difference between a good round or a scorecard that goes right in the trash.
“One of the things I love most about golf is how challenging it is,” Maki says. “I’ve always been very competitive, and I love going out to practice every day to see how much I can improve. Golf can be a challenging game, some days everything works, and other days the ball doesn’t drop. This challenge is what keeps me working to improve, and this is what I love about the game.”
To be where she is at in just three years is a credit to her talent, work ethic, demeanor and patience. She’s just glad to be able to get a chance to tee it up in 2020.
“I’m so thankful that golf was able to continue this year through the pandemic,” she says. “Having golf open has helped with being able to do something I really enjoy when everything else was shut down. I’m so happy that the high school season continued this year! It’s always so much fun to be around my friends and teammates.”
Those teammates she says are like her “family.”
“We are all there for each other, and we support each other through everything on and off the course,” she says. “Coach Ashley and Coach Melissa have both put in a lot of time to help us all on and off the course. I couldn’t ask for better teammates and coaches.”
Maki, who has been on varsity since her freshman year, had her best finish this summer in the GAM Jr. State Amateur at Forest Akers East where she came in third overall with scores of 70 – 71. Maki has been All-Conference all three years and qualified individually for states as a freshman and sophomore. She was All-Stage Honorable Mention last year and All-Conference First Team this year.
While she says she didn’t play well during last week’s Regionals, her success at Forest Akers East should give her plenty of confidence.
“I didn’t play the way I wanted at Regionals,” she says. “I didn’t feel like I was putting well, and I wasn’t able to make any birdies which was frustrating. However, with the extremely windy conditions, I am happy that I was able to push through and qualify for states.”
Skyline’s team came in fourth against a very competitive field that included the top two teams in the state and an excellent Pioneer team. “We all really wanted to make it as a team, but we will all continue to work hard to make it to states next year as a team,” says Maki, who hopes to continue playing golf after high school.
“Playing golf in college has been a big goal of mine since I first started playing,” she said. “I want to play at that high level of competition and gain that experience.”
Maki will be seeing some high level competition on Friday. But she likes a challenge and you can be sure she will be ready to go when it’s time to tee it up.